Heavy Petting

Canadian filmmaker Brendan Prost’s short film, Heavy Petting, will have its Canadian Premiere at the 40th Vancouver International Film Festival on October 9. Heavy Petting is an eerie bifurcated character study about a queer encounter between two lonely cat enthusiasts — and a macabre test of one’s social obscurity.

Heavy Petting

The film stars Toronto newcomers Sam Calleja and Haley Midgette, and is lensed by Emmy award-winning cinematographer Gayle Ye. Heavy Petting is written, directed, edited and produced by Brendan Prost, a dogged and earnest young Vancouverite who has been quietly emerging as one of Canada’s most prolific filmmakers in recent years.

Heavy Petting

Prost is returning to VIFF for the third time in four years, following the success of 2018’s Loretta’s Flowers and 2019’s Main Squeeze.

Heavy Petting explores the distinction and degeneration between loneliness and desolation, an unsettlingly prescient story given the social challenges of the pandemic.

“This is a film for people who have ever felt invisible, and have been driven to despair because of it. And, especially for queer people who know the sting of marginalization and fetishization better than most,” says Prost.

Heavy Petting

Descending tonally and stylistically from the quirky and kinky into the depths of despair and death, Heavy Petting boasts two remarkably vulnerable performances, an array of distinct and unsettling images and a haunting score from composer Chris Reineck.

The film will have its world premiere at the Academy Award-qualifying Nashville Film Festival on September 30.

Heavy Petting screens on Saturday, October 9 at 6:30 pm and on Sunday, October 10 at 4 pm at the Annex in Shorts Programme 06, as well as digitally from October 1 to 11 across Canada (via VIFF Connect).

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